My case is going to a hearing at the HRTO. How do I prepare?
Question & AnswerMy case is going to a hearing at the HRTO. How do I prepare?
4. Prepare your evidence
You and the Respondent can both bring documents and other evidence to the hearing to help prove your case. This can include things like:
- letters from your landlord, employer, doctor, or another provider
- pictures or videos
- medical reports to show how the affected your health
- pay stubs
- copies of the organization's policies, brochures, or other official documents of the organization
- copies of any employment contracts or your rental lease for your home
Sharing your evidence
You and the Respondent must share your evidence with one another before the hearing. This is called disclosure. To use your evidence at the hearing, you must follow the rules of disclosure.
As early as possible, you should review all of the documents and other evidence you have. Make a list. Anything you have should be on the list, whether you plan to use it at the hearing or not.
Once a hearing is scheduled the of Ontario (HRTO) sends you a document called a Confirmation of Hearing. You have 21 days from the day the HRTO sends you that document to give the Respondent your list of evidence as well as a copy of everything on your list. The Respondent must also give you their list and copies of their evidence.
At least 45 days before the hearing starts, you must give the Respondent another list of all the evidence you plan to actually use at the hearing, including any of the Respondent's evidence you want to use. You also need to give your list and copies to the HRTO using a Statement of Delivery form. The Respondent also has to follow these rules.
Use your evidence
Any documents or evidence that you want to use in the hearing must be identified by a witness while the witness is testifying. You can also identify documents when you're testifying.
For each document or piece of evidence that you plan to use, make sure you have a witness who's familiar with the document or evidence. While they're testifying you have to show them the document or evidence and ask them to identify it.
For example you might ask a series of questions like this:
- Do you recognize this photo?
- Who took this photo?
- When was it taken?
- What does this photo show?